From flower to cake

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The pears, plums and apples have all done well this year and the branches are heavy with fruit.

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We have one pear tree in our garden growing against the south-facing back wall. I don’t know how old it is as it was already here when we moved in but it’s not a big tree. I think it’s a Conference – they look like Conference pears and they taste like Conference pears. Anyway, it’s been a good year for pears (and most fruit, I think) and we have lots and lots.

My family aren’t great pear fans, so I’ve been looking for different recipes to use them up. I made this Sticky Pear and Ginger Cake this morning and it’s been a big hit. (I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – I chopped all the pecans and added them to the cake mix and I omitted the syrup.) You could eat it warm as a pudding with yogurt or cream, but it’s delicious just as it is – moist, spicy and pear-y. I’ll definitely make it again.

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My mum and I also made some pear and ginger conserve a few weeks ago. This wasn’t as successful. The taste is lovely but it doesn’t work as a jam; it looks a bit like pineapple chunks in jelly! If I make it again, I’ll chop the pears up much smaller and use grated cooking apple to increase the pectin. I think we’ll be eating this alongside ice cream.

Have you found any new ways to use up your produce? If you have a favourite pear recipe, I’d love to hear it!